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Avalanche Farm Report: March 16

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
Spotlight On: Kieran Millan

Boston University, the defending NCAA National Champions, needed three games to get past Merrimack in the Hockey East Quarterfinals this past weekend.

Terriers netminder Kieran Millan made 26 saves in his club’s 3-2 victory on Friday, but Merrimack came back with a 3-2 overtime win Saturday.

With the pressure on, Millan pitched a 34-save shutout (his first of the season) in Sunday’s rubber match to help the Terriers advance to the Hockey East Semifinals, where they will face Maine on Friday. Millan’s teammate and fellow Avalanche prospect Kevin Shattenkirk netted a goal and an assist in Sunday’s deciding contest.

Millan, the MVP of the 2009 Hockey East Championship as a freshman, had some troubles earlier this season as Boston University stumbled out of the gates following its championship campaign. But after posting a 3-9 record in his first 12 outings, Millan has gone 13-6 in his last 19 games.

Lake Erie Monsters
Lake Erie’s playoff hopes took a hit last weekend, as the club lost all three of its contests (one in a shootout).

The Monsters began the week with a 5-1 loss to Milwaukee on Wednesday, with Justin Mercier scoring the club’s lone goal. Lake Erie returned to action on Friday, suffering a 3-2 shootout loss to Abbotsford. Brett Skinner and Ryan Stoa scored for the Monsters in regulation, while John Grahame made 35 saves.

Saturday’s rematch against Abbotsford brought a 5-3 loss, with Tom Preissing (2g/1a), Stoa (1g) and T.J. Hensick (2a) leading the way offensively for Lake Erie.

With a 30-31-0-7 record (67 points), the Monsters are currently five points behind Manitoba for the fourth and final playoff spot in the North Division.

Charlotte Checkers
Colorado’s ECHL affiliate swept a three-game set against Gwinnett last week. With 10 games remaining on the club’s regular season slate, Charlotte sits second in the American South with a 35-20-4-3 record (77 points).

-Boston College advanced to the Hockey East Semifinals with a two-game sweep of Massachusetts. Sophomore forward Paul Carey scored his eighth goal of the season in the Eagles’ 5-2 victory on Saturday. Boston College will face off with Vermont Friday, with a berth in the Hockey East Championship game on the line.

-Mark Olver, who was named to the CCHA All-Conference First Team last week, earned one assist as Northern Michigan swept Alaska in the CCHA Quarterfinals. Olver and the Wildcats will take on Ferris State in the CCHA Semifinals on Friday.

-Brad Malone scored a goal Friday during North Dakota’s 6-0 win over the University of Minnesota in the first round of the WCHA Playoffs. Minnesota netminder Kent Patterson saw 20 minutes of relief action against the Fighting Sioux and stopped seven shots. Minnesota won Saturday’s contest by a 4-2 count, but North Dakota came back with a 4-1 victory on Sunday to advance to the WCHA Final Five. There, the Fighting Sioux will face Minnesota Duluth on Thursday evening.

-Joel Chouinard scored a goal in both of Victoriaville’s games last week – victories over Lewiston and Shawinigan – to finish the regular season as the QMJHL’s leader in goals by a defenseman (23). Chouinard also finished second among league blueliners with 68 points (23g/45a) in 65 games. The Tigres will take on Shawinigan in the opening round of the QMJHL Playoffs beginning Friday.

-Kelsey Tessier missed Moncton’s final five games of the regular season due to injury.
Moncton will open the postseason by facing Cape Breton in the first round of the QMJHL Playoffs, with Game 1 slated for Friday.

-Halifax goaltender Peter Delmas was handed a loss in his lone outing last week despite making 51 saves in Halifax’s 5-2 loss to Acadie-Bathurst on Thursday. Halifax failed to qualify for the postseason.

-After netting two assists in Kelowna’s regular season finale – a 6-5 shootout win over Prince George – Tyson Barrie finished in a tie with Vancouver’s Kevin Connauton for the WHL lead in scoring by a defenseman with 72 points. Barrie, who played in 63 games (six fewer than Connauton), led all league defensemen with 53 assists. Barrie and his Rockets squad will take on Everett in a best-of-seven WHL Western Conference Quarterfinals series starting on Friday.

-Saskatoon’s Stefan Elliott totaled three points (2g/1a) in four games last week to finish first among all WHL blueliners with 26 goals during the regular season. Elliott’s 65 points (26g/39a) ranked him in a tie for fourth among league defensemen. The Blades will open the postseason by facing Red Deer in the WHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinals beginning Saturday.

-Kitchener goalie Brandon Maxwell picked up two wins last week to end the regular season. Maxwell made 30 saves in a 5-4 win over Owen Sound on Friday and then turned away 25 shots in the Rangers’ 5-4 triumph over Sault Ste. Marie on Sunday. Kitchener will face Saginaw in the Western Conference Quarterfinals beginning this Friday.

-Returning from a five-week injury layoff, Mississauga defenseman Cameron Gaunce was held pointless in three games last weekend. The Majors will open the postseason Friday when they kick off a best-of-seven series against Peterborough.

-Nathan Condon extended his point streak to 10 games (4g/10a) with an assist during Fargo’s 4-3 overtime loss to Lincoln on Friday. Condon’s steak was snapped in the following night’s rematch, a 3-2 Fargo victory.
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